Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CORRECTION: Yesterday I sent the following question out in an e-mail.

2. Ash Wednesday began:
A.) When chimney sweeps were looking to make a few dollars with all that extra ash
B.) In the year 33 A.D.
C.) In Gaul in the 9th Century

I incorrectly said the answers were B & C. Wrong! The correct answer is C. Sorry. (Thanks Steve Mattison for serving my editor!)

Speaking of corrections, I feel like that's where I've been living recently. Longing for things to be different than they are.

Last week all three of our kids missed three days of school. Yesterday they were all back in school. Whew.


Today Noah is home again. This time with what we think might be pink eye. Which is bringing symptoms he did not have last week. Corrections. When will everyone get healthy?

Last week my aunt passed away. She was my Dad's last direct connection to his family of origin. His parents are gone. His siblings are gone. We head down to southern Indiana later this week where I will officiate the funeral and will hope to offer some comfort to Dad and my cousins. Corrections. When will people stop dying?

I've been thinking about some of my friends and family. There are marriages that are on life support. There are families with reduced income or no income at all. There are children who are suffering through situations that childish adults have put them in. Corrections. When will suffering and sorrow end?

It was with this set of life's circumstances that I came to Psalm 22 again today. (I've been reading and re-reading the Psalms this past month.)

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning? (v1)

A pretty useful prayer.

Sometimes the words come jumping out of our life and our own circumstances.

Sometimes they are the perfect words to pray for loved ones who don't have the words or the strength to pray themselves.

Sometimes it seems as if God is nowhere to be found. As if He changed his e-mail or phone number and let everyone but you and me know.

The Psalmist, however, is a person of faith and keeps calling:

Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help. (v11)

I was thinking of the old hymn that says,
The Lord's our Rock, in Him we hide.
A Shelter in the time of storm.
Secure whatever ill betide.
A Shelter in the time of storm.

That's good news when, as the Psalmist writes,

...my strength has dried up...

Because he continues...

But you, O LORD, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly to help me. (vv15a, 19)

When your strength is gone, He will be your Strength.

May you be developing the habit of calling out to God today. May God bring corrections, even slowly, into your world.

Grace & peace

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